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The Best Facial Acids For Glowing Skin

by Alexandra

Did you buy all the products in the world and still don’t have that perfectly glowing skin? You are not comfortable with getting outside without your makeup on? No worries, we can fix that and it might be easier than you think! Facial acids are our secret weapon!

Facial acids are these miracle tools we can use to fight acne, wrinkles, age spots, scarring, and uneven skin tone. But with so many acids on the market, you can get a little confused. Next, you can see which facial acids you can use according to your skin type, when and how you can use them, and which are our product recommendations. You are one step closer to loving your skin, so let’s get started!

Best Facial Acids For Glowing Skin

Salicylic Acid

When it comes to treating acne, acids will work to deeply exfoliate the skin and keep your pores clear. The superstar is salicylic acid, a type of BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid). You can find it in lots of products and is known as a powerful chemical exfoliant. This is because its molecular structure makes it more easily absorbed by the skin, meaning it can penetrate deeper into pores, breaking down pore-clogging particles and supporting healthy cell turnover. This makes it a great option for blackheads and whiteheads, which are the direct result of clogged pores.

Salicylic acid is also highly anti-inflammatory and works miracles on calming down red, inflamed and “angry” skin. It’s also perfect for anyone that suffers from breakouts due to the potent acne-fighting properties that make it an ingredient in many of the best acne treatments.

Our favorite product is The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2%!

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The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2%

Apply this product once a day ( max twice a day), preferably in the evening after thoroughly cleansing and toning. Using a cotton pad, gently massage over the face, making sure to avoid the eye area. You need to use a 50+ SPF cream at all time during the day as it increases the sun sensitivity of your skin. Try to find a cream with a light texture that suits your skin type.

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is the holy grail of exfoliation, effectively removing the outermost layer of dead skin cells, revealing a brighter and glowing complexion. It is also effective with treating and preventing acne, fading dark spots, evening out skin tone and reducing fine lines.

Basically, it’s a superstar acid that will not only reduce breakouts but even out skin tone and texture. We love The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution!

Use ideally in the PM, no more frequently than once per day. After cleaning, saturate a cotton pad with the formula and sweep across face and neck. Avoid the eye contour and contact with eyes. Do not rinse off. Continue with additional skin treatments as needed.

Sunburn Alert: This product contains an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun and particularly the possibility of sunburn. Use a sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterwards.

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is another AHA often used as a skin exfoliant, minus the irritation. It is gentler than glycolic acid and helps hydrate the skin while more effectively treating sun damage. It also helps stimulate collagen production, which can help smooth out wrinkles and fine lines.

Products with lactic acid will often produce a lighter skin tone. This is precisely why it’s wonderful for combating hyperpigmentation, dark patches and spots.

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + Ha 2% 30ml is the product you are looking for!

Apply once per day, ideally in the PM. Avoid contact with eyes. Contact of the product with the skin must be of limited frequency or duration.

Sunburn Alert: Use a sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterwards.

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Hyaluronic Acid

The best facial acid for softer and smoother skin—with less fine lines and chronic dry patches is hyaluronic acid. 

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a substance found naturally in our skin that holds water and helps keep it hydrated and plump. The ingredient should be a cornerstone of any anti-aging routine. Hyaluronic acid plays well with most other ingredients and can be paired with peels, retinol, vitamins, and other acids.

Picking the right hyaluronic acid product is tricky, but you can trust our recommendation The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 and give this product a try!

Offering the heroic hydrating properties of hyaluronic acid – with an extraordinarily low price tag – this oil-free treatment penetrates deep into skin’s layers to deliver intense, long-lasting moisture that swiftly smooths and perfectly plumps. Enhanced with a boost of vitamin B5 to increase efficacy, this lightweight serum will leave skin softened and strengthened. 

Apply a few drops to face in the morning and evening before cream.

Wondering how to layer facial acids in your skincare routine? We’ve got that covered for you!

Combining acids may cause skin irritation. But since everyone’s skin is different, the combination could be safe and even beneficial for some, especially if you have oily skin.

The key to layering acids comes down to pH levels, a scale of measure that tells you how acidic a product is. You want to start with the product with a lower pH and finish with the one with a higher pH. If you use a product that raises your skin’s pH first, the product with the lower pH will have to work to bring that number down instead of work on improving your skin, so it won’t be as effective.

If you do notice any redness, sensitivity, or excessive dryness, try alternating use, i.e. using AHAs one day and BHAs the next.

Keep in mind that if you are using AHAs and BHAs and you throw vitamin C into the mix can be a recipe for irritation. Similarly again, you can alternate usage; you shouldn’t use acids every day anyway – two to three times per week is recommended.

Also, facial acids may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun and particularly the possibility of sunburn. Use a sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterwards. It will be best to avoid using AHAs and BHAs during the summer season!

Related: 20 Best Overnight Masks for Every Budget and Skin Type

Add Nutrients For A Healthy And Glowing Skin

Niacinamide

The benefits of Niacinamide, aka vitamin B3, are seemingly endless when applied to the skin. This antioxidant will aide in eliminating acne because it is anti-inflammatory and prevents blemishes by attacking the sebum and dead skin cells that clog pores and trigger outbreaks.

Niacinamide is also an anti-aging acid that encourages collagen production and moisture (even oily skin types – oily skin does not equal hydrated skin!) which we all need for a healthy glow. Last but not least, this derivative of niacin fades discolouration and hyper-pigmentation.

Our recommendation is The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, with a high 10% concentration of this vitamin supported in the formula by zinc salt of pyrrolidone carboxylic acid to balance visible aspects of sebum activity.

Apply to entire face morning and evening before heavier creams. Contraindications: If topical Vitamin C is used as part of skincare, it should be applied at alternate times with this formula (ideally Vitamin C in the PM and this formula in the AM). Otherwise, Niacinamide can affect the integrity of Vitamin C.

Peptides

Peptides act as signalling mechanisms that tell the body to produce more collagen. Here’s the biggest pro when it comes to peptides: Pretty much anyone and everyone can use them.

The Ordinary “Buffet”, a Multi-Technology Peptide Serum, combines a comprehensive array of studied technologies to target multiple signs of aging at once. You can apply to the entire face in the AM and PM after cleaning.

For more tips and amazing skincare products, you can check out the best products for super-clear skin or our beauty guide for mature skin.

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We only recommend products that we genuinely loved. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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